December 06, 2019

Listening To The Child’s Voice – The Village Project

Dr. Jean Paul is the PI of the “Village Project”, where she and her team aim at producing evidence on how children who have a parent with a mental illness can be better recognised and supported. In this episode she talks to our host Stuart Freeman about the progress and the challenges of her research and why it is so important to engage people outside of research.

Stuart Freeman


In our 4th episode host Stuart Freeman talks to Dr. Jean Paul who is the principal investigator of one of the Ludwig Boltzmann society research groups called “Village”, where she and her team aim at producing evidence on how children who have a parent with a mental illness can be better recognised and supported.

Dr. Jean Paul

Experts by experience – Mental Health

By engaging the community with an approach called “crowdsourcing”, experts by experience – patients, relatives and caregivers – were asked which open questions research should address in the field of mental health. A pressing topic was children having parents with a mental illness, with 1 in 4 children being affected.

From Ideas Lab To Project Village

In 2017 30 researchers participated in a 5 days event called “Ideas Lab” where they were brainstorming on research proposals collected from the crowd. During this event two projects were formed: Village and DOT.s.

What The Project Village Is Abouts

Children with a parent who has a mental illness are often not known to the system. The Project Village wants to support these children and focuses on early intervention and prevention and what they really need.

Why Is It Important To Engage People Outside Of Research?

Experiences are very personal, particularly with mental health. Dr. Jean Paul emphasises, that we need to engage people who have lived through mental illness and the system of support to know where the deficits and the opportunities are.

How Do you Involve People

Different processes like an advisory board and monthly meetings with young adults who have a parent with a mental illness, help to understand how the village project is evolving and where research can do even better.


Some of the conversations held can be triggering, that’s why it is important to make sure to debrief and have oversight of the group.

Current Status & What’s Next

After finishing a six months process of co-development Dr. Jean Paul and her team designed what their research process could look like. They came up with a two practices approach. Now they are designing the training and how they can support those approaches to be implemented and evaluated within the next year.


Please let us know if you want any question on this episode to be answered and help us shape this format.

Guest and Consultant: Jean Paul │ Moderation: Stuart Freeman │ Concept: Marie Niederleithinger │ Production: Marlies Graf-Demirtaş│ Project Lead: Patrick Lehner, Raphaela Kaisler │ Music: Kurt Stolle

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